Injured motorcyclists in New York have unique options for pursuing compensation against negligent drivers. The state’s no-fault laws do not apply to motorcycle accidents. So, an injured motorcyclist or passenger can bring a lawsuit directly against the careless driver who caused their injuries.
Since 1987, Powers & Santola, LLP, has represented the people of Rochester in serious injury claims. If someone else’s negligence caused you or a loved to suffer harm in a motorcycle collision, contact us now. We can explain your options in a free consultation.
Why Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen in New York?
Motorcycle accidents can happen in a split second. Victims often suffer devastating injuries that last a lifetime. In all too many cases, these accidents result from human error, or negligence.
Negligence occurs when someone behaves in a way that a reasonable person would not have behaved, or where a person acts in a way that the person either knows or reasonably should know is dangerous. Examples of negligent conduct that leads to motorcycle crashes in Rochester are:
- Following too closely – Getting too close to a motorcycle is a clear way to cause a deadly wreck. A motorcyclist needs room in case he or she needs to stop or swerve to avoid obstacles in the road.
- Failing to check mirrors and blind spots – Merging or changing lanes without checking to the rear and sides of a vehicle is entirely careless. A driver may fail to see a motorcyclist.
- Misjudging distance before turning left – When drivers try to turn at an intersection and fail to see or acknowledge an approaching motorcycle, it can cause potentially fatal head-on collisions.
- Failing to use turn signals – Motorcyclists, like others on the road, depend on drivers to let them know where they intend to go. The failure to use a turn signal can lead to a head-on or sideswipe crash.
- Sharing a lane or passing too closely – This type of driving is illegal and dangerous. A motorcyclist is entitled to the full width of the lane unless sharing it with another motorcyclist. If a driver tries to squeeze past a motorcyclist, it can run him or her off the road.
In many collisions between cars and motorcycles, the underlying reason for the crash is distracted driving or driving while impaired by drugs, alcohol or fatigue. Driver error may also not be a non-factor in crashes. Instead, the cause may be traced to a defective motorcycle part or poor road conditions.
What Are Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Since motorcycles lack structural protection like a frame or exterior doors, nothing buffers a rider from the vehicle which strikes him or her in a crash. Also, motorcycles lack seat belts to keep riders in place and prevent ejection. The only things a motorcycle rider or passenger has to protect themselves are their skills and the protective gear they wear such as a helmet. As a result, the injuries which victims suffer in Rochester motorcycle accidents can be life-altering or fatal. Common injuries include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Burns and road rash
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement.
At Powers & Santola, LLP, a Rochester motorcycle accident lawyer will help you to get the medical care you need and fight for full compensation for you. We know that after a catastrophic motorcycle crash, no one wants to deal with medical bills and insurance companies. We handle all of those details so that you can focus on your health.
How Can Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Help You?
When you call Powers & Santola, LLP, a motorcycle accident attorney in Rochester will be in a position to immediately start a full-scale investigation into your accident. Here are the things we routinely do for our clients.
- Review the case – Our help begins with a free initial consultation. An experienced personal injury attorney will quickly identify the legal issues in your case and help you to understand your rights.
- Investigate the accident – Next, we work closely with trained investigators to make sure all evidence is well-preserved right from the start. We will analyze that evidence, and we may consult with professionals in fields such as accident reconstruction.
- Calculate the full value of your damages – We will also fully assess your injuries and damages. In doing so, we may consult with doctors, economists and life-care planners.
- Seek a just settlement – Having an attorney at your side will help to ensure that the insurance company (or companies) makes a fair and reasonable settlement offer. Our law firm will help you to assess any offers that you receive and make the best decision for you and your loved ones.
- If necessary, take the case to trial – Finally, if the defendant and insurance company won’t pay, our team won’t hesitate to pursue full compensation for you by taking your case to trial. Our attorneys are highly skilled and experienced litigators.
How Can You Protect Your Rights After a Motorcycle Crash?
While we will fight hard to help you after a motorcycle accident, you can do things in the days and weeks after a crash that will improve your chances of securing a full financial recovery. Steps you can take include:
- Seeing a doctor – The sooner you get competent and appropriate medical care, the sooner you will receive a clear diagnosis of all of your injuries.
- Getting a copy of your crash report – The report will have much of the crucial information you will need to get your insurance claim started. You can go directly to the law enforcement agency such as the Rochester Police Department, or you can get a copy through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Keeping everything – Hold on to your medical bills, records, discharge notes, receipts, invoices and anything else that relates to your case.
- Talking to a lawyer before you talk with an insurance company – Insurance adjusters are not your friends. They don’t care about your rights. They care about resolving the claim and protecting their profits – not you. It’s only fair that you have someone in your corner, too. Speak to a lawyer before you even think about talking to the adjuster.
Our Rochester Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Are Here for You
After a Rochester motorcycle collision, contact Powers & Santola, LLP. We have helped injured motorists and their families throughout the region since 1987. You can count on us to protect your rights. Our consultations are free. So, don’t wait to get in touch with us about your case.